By Mike Sheridan

Shropshire Council says “nothing has been ruled in or out” on the future of Shrewsbury’s Quarry pool – after a decision to move forward with plans to build a new facility in Sundorne.

An eight-week public consultation will now take place on place on a £28m proposal to build a competition standard swimming pool at Shrewsbury Sports Village, following a vote at Shropshire Council’s cabinet.

Opposition councillors say the plan would spell the “death knell” for the town’s outdated existing town centre pool in the Quarry, which the council says in its report would cost too much to redevelop.

The plans would see a new 25 metre pool with seating for 250 spectators built at the Sundorne site, which will allow Shrewsbury to host regional swimming competitions, currently held in Wolverhampton due to the lack of an appropriate facility in the county.

Councillor Rob Macey said the new development, if approved, would “set the standard for health fitness and community engagement for generations to come.”

“This proposal aligns with goals included in the Shropshire Plan promoting healthy living, supporting the local economy and environmental sustainability. It is an investment in the wellbeing of our community serving Shrewsbury, surrounding areas and the wider county for the next 40 years,” he said.

Councillor Roger Evans, the Liberal Democrat Leader, said the plans were “disheartening” amid concerns for the future of the Quarry pool, which reopened last month following almost £500k of repairs.

“We need a swimming pool, we need that sort of facility in the centre of Shrewsbury. As I said earlier on today about the vision for Shrewsbury, it needs to attract people in,” he said.

“I think to put the size of pool put forward in Sundorne, that is spelling the death knell for the quarry swimming pool in the town.”

Green group leader Councillor Julian Dean said he was pleased to see the proposals included energy efficiency measures, but agreed with Councillor Evans that it spelled bad news for the “iconic” Quarry site.

“We need to retain a facility which is accessible for families and for morning swimmers in the town centre and I agree with Cllr Evans that this feels somewhat like a death knell for this facility,” he said.

But Shropshire Council leader Lezley Picton said no decision had been taken on the future of the Quarry site.

“I can’t re-iterate enough that nothing has been ruled in, and nothing had been ruled out,” she said.

“We have not made a decision, and I’m really sad that the conversation has focussed on what happens about the quarry as opposed to what we’re asking is are these facilities the right facilities to be having at the sports village because that’s what this consultation is going to be about.”